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The Best Architectural Firms in San Francisco, California

6 Min Read
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San Francisco, California is a thriving city known for its iconic landmarks, rich cultural diversity, and thriving economy. Further, its vibrant job market, commitment to sustainability, and diverse neighborhoods make it a prime location for real estate. With a distinct blend of history, innovation, and natural beauty, San Francisco offers enticing opportunities for both commercial and residential real estate investments. For those who want to invest in a commercial or residential property here, this list contains the eight best architectural firms in San Francisco, California.

Mark Cavagnero Associates

1045 Sansome St., Suite 200, San Francisco, CA 94111

Mark Cavagnero Associates, previously known as Barnes and Cavagnero, was founded in 1988. It is a renowned architecture firm that places a strong emphasis on public and institutional projects. With a wide-ranging portfolio of completed work, including projects for the non-profit, commercial, residential, and office sectors, the firm is known for its commitments to collaboration, community building, and design excellence.

Led by socially and environmentally conscious architect Mark Cavagnero, the firm’s team of over 70 multi-disciplinary professionals consistently pursues innovative design solutions that are contextual yet timeless, as well as beneficial to the communities they serve. Mark Cavagnero’s visionary approach and enduring impact on San Francisco’s civic life reflect his dedication to creating contemporary facilities that leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

Jensen Architects Inc.

833 Market St., 7th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103

Jensen Architects is a design firm driven by a passion for creating spaces that enrich the experiences of both organizations and individuals. With a commitment to sustainability and innovative design, it focuses on developing solutions that embody each client’s values and larger purpose. From arts and education to residential, workplace, and retail spaces, the firm brings a thoughtful and collaborative approach to design challenges, consistently combining research, unconventional thinking, and craftsmanship to deliver high-quality results.

Rooted in a culture of camaraderie, Jensen Architects fosters long standing relationships with clients, consultants, and colleagues, offering a creative exchange that informs its practice and results in meaningful and impactful work. The firm has amassed numerous awards for nearly three decades, including the 2022 Merit Award from the AIA California Urban Design Awards.

BCV Architecture + Interiors

1527 Stockton St., 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94133

BCV Architecture + Interiors is an award-winning firm with offices in San Francisco and New York that specializes in architecture, interiors, and planning. Founded in 1997, BCV has established a reputation for delivering sensitive, practical, and elegant design solutions that respond to its clients’ needs while respecting the surrounding environment. With a diverse portfolio that spans private residences, wineries, market and food halls, restaurants, retail stores, and more, the firm is known for creating exquisitely detailed environments and sustainable communities. BCV Architecture + Interiors seamlessly integrates architecture and interiors, paying careful attention to context, scale, proportion, quality of materials, and execution of details. Leading this mission are Hans Baldauf and Chris Von Eckartsberg, the company’s managing principals who are both licensed architects in multiple states. 

Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects Inc.

1022 Natoma St., No. 3, San Francisco, CA 94103

Based in San Francisco, Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects Inc. is a renowned architecture firm that specializes in multifamily housing and cultural and religious projects. It boasts a rich history of innovative designs and successful projects. The firm is led by Principal Stanley Saitowitz, an internationally recognized architect and an Emeritus Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.


Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects Inc. takes great pride in having earned a reputation for excellence in architecture, and it continues to push the boundaries of design in the industry. For nearly five decades as a leading architectural firm, the company has garnered numerous awards, like the 2017 Innovation and Honor Awards from the AIA. It has also been featured in multiple publications, including San Francisco YIMBY, Urbanize LA, Los Angeles Times, and Architecture Record.

Mark English Architects

1616 16th St., Suite 360, San Francisco, CA 94103

Mark English Architects, located in the vibrant Potrero Design District of San Francisco, is a renowned architectural firm known for its commitment to sustainable and sensible design. With a rich history dating back to 1992, the firm has established itself as a leading player in architecture, with a portfolio that spans California, Texas, and Mexico. At the helm of the company is Mark English, who is a Bay Area native and a member of the AIA.

At Mark English Architects, the ethos of sustainability is deeply ingrained in every aspect of its work. Its designs are not only visually striking, but are also built to withstand the test of time. With a particular focus on urban contexts—particularly in San Francisco, where half of its work is based—it excels in creating innovative solutions that harmoniously blend with the surrounding environment.

Aidlin Darling Design

500 Third St., Suite 410, San Francisco, CA 94107

Aidlin Darling Design is a multidisciplinary design firm founded by Joshua Aidlin and David Darling in 1998. With a deep-rooted history in craftsmanship and a passion for homebuilding, the firm has established itself as a renowned player in the design industry. Since its humble beginnings as a San Francisco woodshop, Aidlin Darling Design has grown into a creative powerhouse known for its client and site-specific approach to design. The team believes that a space should look visually appealing, evoke emotions, and create an experience for its users.

Collaboration is a crucial element of Aidlin Darling Design’s process. The firm therefore fosters a culture of open communication between clients, consultants, fabricators, and builders, ensuring that all stakeholders are actively involved in the design process. This approach has contributed to the firm being featured in numerous publications, including Interior Design Magazine, Global Design News, and Archinect in 2022.

Edmonds + Lee Architects

2601 Mission St., Suite 503, San Francisco, CA 94110

Edmonds + Lee Architects (ELA) is a local business enterprise based in San Francisco’s Mission District. With a profound philosophical approach and extensive on-the-ground building experience, ELA creates architectural and interior design solutions that sensitively integrate into existing contexts while offering new opportunities for reflection, restoration, work, and play. The firm’s work has been widely published and has received numerous design awards, including from the American Institute of Architects, the Society of American Registered Architects, Interior Design Magazine, and others.

With nearly two decades of experience, ELA is known for its groundbreaking and successful projects completed for private, commercial, and institutional clients. Leading the team are Robert Edmonds and Vivian Lee, who both hold National Council of Architectural Registration Boards certificates and are AIA members.

John Maniscalco Architecture

442 Grove St., San Francisco, CA 94102

John Maniscalco Architecture is renowned for producing analytical, artful, and rigorous architectural work that is entirely informed by the client’s and environment’s needs. With a focus on materiality, light, space, and clarity of design from concept to detailing, the firm creates innovative and honest designs that enhance the experience of natural environments. Through deep collaboration with clients, the firm synthesizes their needs and desires with the culture and character of the site, resulting in unique, site-specific solutions that provide unexpected ways of observing and understanding the physical world. It consistently delivers superior frameworks that are well-crafted and wholly informed by the site and client. jmA’s award -winning projects have been published extensively internationally, including Architectural Record, Architectural Digest, and Dwell.